The experience of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partner geneticists in 2015–2016 clearly demonstrates the positive benefits to smallholder farmers of the application of new breeding and genomic approaches, leading to more productive and climate- and disease resilient livestock. However, it is when these new technologies are combined with improved management practices that they are translated into enhanced food security and higher incomes for smallholder farmers. These are the findings from the genetics research and interventions, presented in the ILRI Corporate report 2015–2016 highlights on Livestock genetics and breeding.
A first look at a revamped ILRI research program: Livestock Genetics
A note in a scientific journal gives an update on long-term research to develop African cattle resistant to the Africa animal disease known as trypanosomiasis. The aim of this research is to help reduce widespread poverty and hunger on the continent by improving livestock livelihoods.
A new study offers novel insights into rapid genomic adaptations to extreme environments in sheep and other animals and provides a valuable resource for future research on livestock breeding in response to climate change.
Diseases transmitted between animals and people—which cause 60% of all human infectious diseases—are a ‘frontier issue’ at the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA2), being held this week and next at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in Nairobi, Kenya.
Improving the genetic makeup of Africa’s dairy cattle has the potential increase farmer productivity and profitability, hence transform the lives of millions of dairy families across Africa. This latest program, African Dairy Genetic Gains (ADGG) program, led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), offers real opportunities to help smallholders improve their lives through livestock. It also contributes to ILRI’s global livestock genetics program—LiveGene.
Researchers at the Roslin Institute will be using funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate how genetic information can improve the health and productivity of farmed animals in tropical climates, which is a proven approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health is an alliance between the Institute at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the Africa-headquartered International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The partner institutions are making additional contributions with a value of £10 million to support the initiative over the next five years.